The Straits Times
Published on Sep 13, 2012

US fines school for turning down teen with HIV


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States (US) government has fined a private school for refusing to accept a 13-year-old with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), saying it violated a federal anti-discrimination law, the Justice Department said.

The charity-funded school in Pennsylvania said it had "discontinued processing" Abraham Smith's application when it learned he had the virus that causes Aids, according to a copy of the legal settlement released on Wednesday.

The school, which serves disadvantaged children 4-17 years old, said the decision was the result of an "analysis of potential risks to other students and the legal rights of Abraham Smith or other applicants with HIV."

The Justice Department said that while the school "did not act with malice or animus" toward Smith, it was unable to show how admitting him or other HIV-positive students would endanger others.